Anselm Kiefer: Books and Woodcuts
Anselm Kiefer has been an immense impact on me ever since I was exposed to him in the late 1980s.
I travel just to experience Anselm Kiefer’s emissions in the flesh and have yet to be underwhelmed by what I find, no matter if it is at Hobart’s MONA, the Louvre or the MET in NYC.
Needless to say that I was excited when I heard about an exhibition that was going to highlight in equal measures the two disciplines that his artistic pendulum has always swung between, i.e. Kiefer’s woodcuts and books and journals he has been keeping.
Being a means of reflection and research, Kiefer’s writing has always been inextricably linked to the creation of art and often added another dimension as it gave insight into the underlying ideas and the provision of a context that would have gone amiss without him shedding light on it and allowing access.
If you follow his literary emissions, one cannot help but find his woodcut an organic extension and the creation of a realm that is clearly separate from his painting.
The Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature’s present exhibition Anselm Kiefer ? Books and woodcuts is an immensely interesting effort in highlighting the underpinning philosophical and alchemical components, mythical and poetic influences along with historical events that more often than not form the genesis and foundation of what eventually materialized in museums.
Curated by Natalia Granero of the Jan Michalski Foundation, which is based in Montricher, Switzerland and Gunnar B. Kvaran from the Astrup Fearnley Museet, in Oslo, Norway, this unique and complex exhibition depicts and is an ode the monumental amalgamation of the myriad of contributing factors that Anselm Kiefer channels through his lens into his idiosyncratic art that is fascinating in every aspect.
I particularly find it interesting how Kiefer’s focus changed over the last two and a half decades as he started exploring new themes, e.g. limitations of human beings and a recent heavy focus on flora.
The accompanying catalogue to the exhibition renders and frames the exhibition by documenting Kiefer’s profound works, the themes and the scale of variety spanning from at times personal writing to the large-scale artworks that never cease to fascinate.